Explore the most popular river trails in High Uintas Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
22 days ago

Great destination for those seeking solitude. I camped along the creek in the upper basin and did day hikes to the various lakes. Saw only one other hiker on the trail—on a weekend in September.

backpacking
22 days ago

An excellent destination for those seeking solitude. We found few traces of human visitors in the basin and experienced fantastic fishing.

When the byway is closed, one can drive in only about 15 miles. At this point, there will be a road closed sign. There is a parking lot here. Many trucks come carrying their snowmobiles to use on the snow covered roads and trails. The main byway up to this point seems to be maintained by plows during the day (not at night), but the side roads to the campgrounds are not plowed, but some of the roads you can drive a little into depending on the type of vehicle you have and how much snow is still on the roads. I rated it 2 only because we did not have a snowmobile or skis or snowshoes to go into the trails, the rating would be better if we had any of those things to make the snow-covered roads more fun!

on Shingle Creek Trail

snowshoeing
2 months ago

A good trail for snowshoeing. Went up a couple miles after a snow storm and enjoyed the winter scenery.

The red castle really is worth all the hype. The trail is pretty level and never steep, but the trail surface was trash from all the horse traffic, and really wore my feet out, so wear good shoes. There were moose along the lake. When we went the last weekend in August, it rained for a little bit but it was fine. There were also about a couple hundred sheep being run late at night from east red castle down the valley so that was... interesting. You’ll also pass lots of cows on your way there and the trail appears to be more popular with horse packers than backpackers. So it was more like the High Uintas Farm than a wilderness... still worth it to camp under the red castle.

on Highline Trail

backpacking
4 months ago

My son and I along with his friend Isaac hiked the trail in 2016.
Here is a video clip from our hike.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXplSAsahD8

Pack light and take sun screen, fishing pole, water bottle that purifies and, take the InReach Explorer for communicating and GPS. With it I was able to communicate with my wife by email and it tracked our course every 20 minutes and posted it on Facebook for those that wanted to follow us on the map.

Love it easy fun lots of water

backpacking
4 months ago

Be sure to check out Rainbow Lake for fishing

backpacking
4 months ago

Less Crowded that camping at Dollar Lake

Gorgeous views, fabulous greenery when I went in July. Would definitely do it again

This is not a hike it is a drive but I do it all the time! Lakes ALL OVER THE PLACE! Definitely one to check out!

hiking
5 months ago

Lots of snow up above the beaver ponds and icy in patches below them. Didn’t quite make it all the way up this time but it’s worth coming back to complete. Might just wait until late Spring though!

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike! About 13 miles total, with steep sections, and lots and lots of mud and water on the trail, but definitely doable. We hiked this pretty late in the season, so about a mile from the lake, we hit some pretty deep snow and lost the trail. We kept trekking, though, and made it to the lake about an hour later than planned. The snow was a lot of work! Definitely will do this hike again, but probably earlier in the season, like early September. The good thing about going later, though, was that we didn't see any other hikers at all until the end of the hike when we got back to the parking lot.

backpacking
7 months ago

Amazing Hike!
Requires a recreational day pass for overnight parking. I usually buy my passes at the Chevron located in Kamas outside the west entrance to the forest. It cost me $6 for a 3-day pass. (Closes at 9pm)

Difficulty: It can get rough at times. Incline the entire way. Very steep sections.

It has many rivers/creeks running through multiple areas so you don't need to worry too much about water. (I recommend Iodine and neutralizer tablets you can buy at Walmart for $7, water tastes great with those)
If you are hiking off-trail from Salamander Lake to Ostler Lake on the West side of the basin, there aren't very many water sources, be sure to prepare for that section.

Our dog loved this trail, and did fine. Horses are welcome as well.

Recommended camping places:

If you stay on-trail, Waypoint 2 or Waypoint 3 are a great places to camp. Amethyst/Waypoint 4 is with the tree line so wood will be scarce there.

Off-trail Camping spots: The small pond/lake south of Salamander on the south side has a great little meadow area. Very comfy. Moose love that pond. Be sure to 100% camp at Ostler Lake!!! Beautiful place! Best spot there is on the south-west side near an open meadow along the tree line. Lots of wood to burn.

By far one of the best hikes!

By the way, here are my route details. Each waypoint has comments/recommendations.

https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/route/06c5985d-0f03-4fdc-a475-ab082dfafc40/?layer=GaiaTopoRasterFeet

Questions? E-Mail me at JoshuaTravisFryer@outlook.com

backpacking
7 months ago

This was a gorgeous, moderate hike to in with a few loose rock scrambles and some maneuvering through flocks of sheep. The lake itself proved to be the perfect place to camp for two nights with two dogs. I have provided a link to my blog post below, hope it helps!

https://www.kelseykagan.com/home/2017/8/22/kermsuh-lake-trail

gorgeous hike through breathtaking views. one of my favorites in Utah!!!

We went from Kamas to Mirror Lake. There are many campgrounds and view point pull offs, though we did not explore them. There are many open ranges, so drivers have to watch out for cows on the road. We saw a dusting of snow on the hilltops, frost and ice patches around Mirror Lake. We saw a few trees showing fall colors.

We had a great time, hiked the entire trail to the lower lake in one day. Camped the night before at China Meadows. Left at 5 am and returned by 2pm. Didn't hike hard and stopped a plenty. Beautiful lake and Red Castle Mt is awesome!! A MUST-DO!

hiking
8 months ago

Love this hike! It is long but not too challenging. The lake is smaller than I expected but still has some good camping spots around it. Can't wait to go back!

Just did this as a two night backpack over Labor Day weekend. It was stunning! And there are no more mosquitoes!!! I never had to use bug spray once. It also never rained! It is a long 10 mile hike in, but there's so little elevation gain it feels almost flat. There were a lot of groups camping, but everyone was very friendly and I enjoyed talking to great new people. Spent the second day going up to the upper lake for lunch. We sunned on the rock, dipped our feet in, and even swam for a second. We woke up to five moose in our campsite the second morning! I will never forget this incredible experience.

backpacking
8 months ago

Beautiful area lots of lakes and lots of bear sign up by morat lakes

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike! A few tricky crossings but doable. 12.9 miles recorded. Relaxing by the quiet lake was magic. We rarely saw others on a holiday weekend. It was the perfect long hike in a day!

backpacking
8 months ago

Incredibly beautiful hike through meadows, pine forest, and aspen groves. As others have said, this hike is 13 miles round trip from the parking lot. The first 2 miles are fairly easy and pleasant...BUT...once you turn left to head toward Amethyst the trail becomes quite steep for about a mile and then continually ascends until you reach the lake. The trail is very rocky and there are quite a few areas where it is muddy. You will likely ask yourself several times, "How and why is this fun??" However, you can take regular breaks and enjoy the waterfalls and cascades that border the trail. After you've endured the grueling uphill climb you come to Amethyst Lake. It is well worth the hike and the most gorgeous mountain lake I have visited to-date!!

Went today, bridge is no longer out at 2.5 miles. There are a couple of tricky crossing but all doable. Went up to East Shingle Creek Lake, 6.5 miles 2500ft+ in elevation climb. Must have missed the 5 mile up lake. Wonderful trail to run.

Awesome hike. As others have said, it is longer than listed.... at least 13 miles round trip to Amethyst Lake. End of August is the perfect time for this trip. It was nice and cool at night, slightly warm during the day, and the bugs had mostly disappeared. There are some nice campsites near the unnamed lake about a mile from Amethyst. We stopped on the opposite side of the trail in a meadow that had an awesome fire pit with some tree trunk benches. Plenty of firewood due to the blight.

backpacking
8 months ago

This trail was amazing! Beauty all around, and wonderful campsites at the top. Hardly any bugs this time of year. Didn't have to use deet once. Gorgeous waterfalls on the way up, and crystal aqua waters up top. However, the trail is indeed 13 miles round trip, not 11 as stated on All Trails. It may be 11 round trip from the fork, but it's 13 miles round trip from car, to Amethyst, and back. I will definitely do this trail again someday.

Stuff to think about on this trip:
Bug spray, sunscreen, waterproof shoes, woods stay pretty damp, hiking in some muddy spots, mushrooms, fishing pole, camera, basic survival kit.

This hike will take from 7-9hrs. in. I would suggest camping before the Upper Red Castle Lake. May be wise to bring rain gear if you don't typically pack it. It's worth the hike just to cleanse the soul.
Just go with it. It's good for you. You'll not have cell service.

hiking
8 months ago

Did a day hike this past Saturday. Trail was mostly dry and few bugs and plenty of wil flowers. 3 hours and 10 minutes to the lake.

backpacking
8 months ago

After a solid two-day backpacking trip as a complete novice in the field, Highline was a good start as we covered over 16 miles and passed 9 lakes looping back from the Naturalist Basin area. Trail is relatively well-maintained with muddy and marshy patches - ideal to bring waterproof or water-resistant shoes to bypass those.

Lakes spotted listed from start to finish:
Scudder: out of the way and you can see it from the trail but make a roundabout detour to get there, generic campsite

Gatman: viewable from trail but would have to take another detour to get there

Jordan: first big lake accessible a stone's throw away from the Naturalist Basin trail; trail follows all along the lakeshore before gaining elevation again at 10660' zone. Generic campsite/fishing area. Trail is poorly maintained when going up the face of the mountainside with loose dirt and a very steep incline; smaller waterfalls are visible from this zone

Shaler: quiet and more isolated than Jordan Lake, expansive and hosts some campgrounds that are more enclosed by small trees and outcroppings; terrain surrounding it is extremely flat

Faxon Lake: freezing, interesting islands and rock formations, hosts many water boatmen, mosquito larvae and brine shrimp; shallow! It's possible to walk across the lake from one side to the other in sandals but most of the lake bottom is silt that is easily kicked up and acts like quicksand - not recommended

LeConte: trek to LeConte is similar to the rest of the trail, again expansive and features smaller lakes and creeks nearby

Walcott: nothing special. There is a rockslide between LeConte and Walcott so some bouldering is necessary, especially with the positioning of how the rocks fell

Blue: remote campgrounds, water gets deep quickly and there are a number of short cliffside dropoffs along the edge. Two ponds near the northernmost tip of the lake are cool features worth checking out with glacier-like remnants of snowbanks and rocks. Trail overlooks Morat Lakes headed south and is splendid in the morning

Morat Lakes: initial descent is loose shale and crumbled path, had to head down sideways to maintain balance without falling down the entire slope; natural waterfall from Blue Lake visible from the descent (10'> away from path) and final portion passing Morat Lakes is marshy, muddy, easy to trip and fall but shady and well-marked

Not a very difficult hike. Although you will find that most of the trail is mud as it's a heavily used equestrian trail. Dog friendly. Look for moose in the meadows! Mosquitos are plentiful. Trails seems busy on weekends.. We backpacked in and stayed two nights at Lower Red Castle Lake. Took a day hike to Red Castle Lake as it's only about two miles past Lower Red Castle Lake. Very scenic and peaceful place. Worth every mile!

Load More